Akemi's Reviews > Parade's End

Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
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Apr 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: school
Read in June, 2009

The classic that no one has ever heard of. My professor urged us to make others read Parade's End so that it stays in print- so go read it! Technically I haven't finished it yet since we only had to read three of the four books for my class, but I will complete The Last Post soon.

Parade's End follows the singular Christopher Tietjens and his experiences of World War I. Tietjens is nothing if not unique, and I think it's worth reading the novel simply to meet him. Maybe I'm biased since I frequently found myself identifying with him. Also, if you like Kant, you'd like Tietjens (as my philosopher friend who kept geeking out while reading it will attest).

The writing style is a blend of 19th-century Victorian with 20th-century modernism, which was great for someone who really likes the 19th century and isn't that crazy about the 20th. Also, Ford is chock full of strange Britishisms, such as describing someone as "more than a little barmy on the crumpet." The British-ness of it all can make it a bit confusing at times as understanding the social mores of the time is frequently essential to getting the plot, but I guess no more so than any 19th century British novel.

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Finished The Last Post and was underwhelmed. Definitely not as good as the previous three books and kind of ruins the unsettled feeling you get at the end of the third book, which would be nice in another story, but unsettled works for Ford. Believe me, I am normally a big fan of the happy ending (Harry Potter Epilogue anyone?), but I found this unnecessary.

Quotes:
"You seduced a young woman in order to be able to finish your talks with her. You could not do that without living with her. You could not live with her without seducing her; but that was the by-product. The point is that you can't otherwise talk. You can't finish talks at street corners; in museums; even in drawing-rooms. You mayn't be in the mood when she is in the mood - for the intimate conversation that means the final communion of your souls. You have to wait together - for a week, for a year, for a lifetime, before the final intimate conversation may be attained...and exhausted. So that...That in effect was love."
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Quotes Akemi Liked

Ford Madox Ford
“You seduced a young woman in order to be able to finish your talks with her. You could not do that without living with her. You could not live with her without seducing her; but that was the by-product. The point is that you can't otherwise talk. You can't finish talks at street corners; in museums; even in drawing-rooms. You mayn't be in the mood when she is in the mood – for the intimate conversation that means the final communion of your souls. You have to wait together – for a week, for a year, for a lifetime, before the final intimate conversation may be attained...and exhausted. So that...

That in effect was love.”
Ford Madox Ford, Parade's End
tags: love


Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Ken-ichi (new) - added it

Ken-ichi If my name was "Ford Maddox Ford," I would drop the "Maddox," so people would know they were getting twice the Ford for the price of one, undiluted by any Maddoxian impurities.


message 2: by Ken-ichi (new) - added it

Ken-ichi "If you like Kant, you'd like Tietjens." With that, I believe you have dissuaded 99% of humanity from reading this book. Then again, I think I might also be a bit barmy on the crumpet, so what do I know.


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